[Advocacy Advisors] EU Monitoring Report - October

Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov dimitar.parvanov.dimitrov at gmail.com
Mon Nov 3 09:48:31 UTC 2014

Wikimedia and the EU
October 2014 Report

The Court of Justice of the EU ruled, that embedding copyrighted videos
cannot constitute copyright infringement. The European Wikimedia chapters
published their position paper on copyright reform in the EU.

This and past reports: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/EU_policy/Monitor

1. FKAGEU: Position paper on EU copyright published

2. CJEU: Copyright ruling on embedded videos

3. Commissioner Ansip: offline and online hearings

4. Commissioner Oettinger: Internet levies? Ancillary copyright?  “Google


#fixcopyright #Wikimedia

1.FKAGEU: Position paper on EU copyright published

Why is this relevant?
It is the first time Wikimedians in Europe (chapters, thematic
organisations, user-groups and individuals) officially propose changes to
copyright directly to the European Commission. It is our first common
position paper [1], has already been sent to the relevant EU institutions.
In the years to come, it will serve as a reference point for our
activities. While the very first joint document, the Statement of Intent
[2] was addressing internal stakeholders, our “Position Paper #1” is a
document targeted at a wider, political audience.

What happened?
The structure and statements of the recently inaugurated European
Commission give some  reason to believe that copyright reform will indeed
be one of their top priorities. [3][4][5] From one-on-one conversations we
know that the responsible units have already started drafting the text of
the legislative proposal. As there are internal struggles within the
institutions about which way to go and our issues aren’t the most visible
in the wider political debate, we decided to publish a letter that
strengthens  the reform-friendly bureaucrats’ position and brings attention
to our priorities.

Our “Position Paper on EU Copyright Reform” has been signed by 32
organisations in total, 16 of them being European Wikimeida affiliates.

What comes next?
Apart from sending it out and publishing some blogposts and tweets
[20][21][22][23][24] along the way, we’re asking public officials to meet
with us to have the opportunity to explain our proposed solutions in more
detail and forge closer personal relationships. We have already received
invitations to meet with units “copyright” and “counterfeiting and piracy”
of the European Commission, as well as with the office of the Internal
Market Commission chair of the European Parliament.

Before the end of the year Copyright for Creativity [6] - a copyright
reform coalition including EFF, EuroISPA, IFLA, BEUC, IA and EDRI - will
release their manifesto, which is perfectly compatible with our position
paper. This has been coordinated in order to cascade like-minded efforts in
the most effective way.


#CJEU #copyright #embedding

2.CJEU: Copyright ruling on embedded videos

Why is this relevant?
An answer to one of the more fundamental copyright questions on the
internet. Is embedding content that violates copyright on a website a case
of copyright infringement on its own? Can be made legally responsible if
one of the videos framed into my website infringes copyright?

What happened?
The German courts referred a case to the Court of Justice of the European
Union where a water filter producer embedded on its own site a promotional
video of a competitor that was available on YouTube.

The European court ruled [7], that embedding does not constitute a new
“communication to the public” in the sense of the Copyright in the
Information Society Directive from 2011 [8] and thus cannot be a considered
copyright infringement.

This is the second time the court in Luxembourg has ruled on internet
copyright using common sense. Earlier this year, in the so-called Svensson
case, it decided that linking cannot constitute copyright infringement. [9]

What comes next?
The German court will have to implement this position in its decision
following the CJEU ruling which was only preliminary.

Further reading: [10][11]


#Ansip #EPhearings2014 #askansip

3.Commissioner Ansip: offline and online hearings

Why is this relevant?
This time around there is a Vice-President of the Commission responsible
for the “digital single market”. And while this title doesn’t immediately
ring the “Free Knowledge” bell, it must be noted that a digital single
market is impossible without harmonisation, which in turn cannot be
achieved without a meaningful copyright reform.

What happened?
Mr. Ansip appeared comparatively well prepared [12][13][14], which made it
somewhat strange to hear him apologise for not being able to prepare well
due to illness. On copyright issues he repeated several times that
territoriality and geo-blocking are unacceptable and specifically called
copyright “prohibitive” citing text and data mining as an example.

Here’s the other highlights:

*Net Neutrality is important (comment: but then he spoke about search
neutrality so I am confused)

*Right to be forgotten must remain an exception (meaning: unclear)

*Access to internet is a human right and we need an internet rights charta
(comment: sounds great)

*Data protection is very important (comment: avoided clear wording on what
this means)

*Software code produced for the EU must be open source or free software
(comment: we should try to make the point that the same applies for
knowledge produced for the EU)

What comes next?
Him hiring staff, getting proper offices and starting to look over
Oettinger’s DG. It will be interesting to see which one will be more
daring, i.e. whether Ansip will push for more change while Oettinger
remains rather cautious or vice-versa.


#Oettinger #Googletax #copyright

4. Commissioner Oettinger: Internet copyright levy? Ancillary copyright? Or
“Google tax”?

Why is this relevant?
Copyright is a framework of related rights, exceptions, limitations, levies
and court rulings. As the calls for more access to content are coupled with
dropping revenues for certain products in some sectors, alternative
financing models are sometimes proposed. Changing the financing model would
shift the entire framework.

Levies are taxes on, for instance, audio tapes or video cassettes,
basically anything that can be used to record and share copyrighted
material. The money raised is then distributed over collecting societies in
order to make up for a (one might argue alleged) loss of income due to
these technologies.

What happened?
German Commissioner Oettinger scored an article with virtually every news
outlet last week [15][16][17][18] by connecting two statements: we need a
European copyright (nothing new) and a European-wide copyright levy (never
before proposed by a high-level official). He also singled out Google in
his interview, which had people talk about a “Google tax”. As a further
reaction, Irish Minister of State and European Affairs Dara Murphy felt
compelled to dismiss these plans as “protectionism”. [19] (NB: Google’s EU
headquarters are in Dublin.) Mr. Oettinger himself admitted that this would
be a rather long dialogue and that the underlying questions are “What is
intellectual property?” and “What kind of authors’ rights should result
from it?”.

What comes next?
Although asking the fundamental questions is certainly necessary, it is
unclear how these will influence the intention to have a reform text
published as soon as possible, emphasised during earlier public
appearances. Will the big questions be only touched upon if we’re
discussing levies? Will there be two separate, albeit intertwined,
discussions and dossiers - one on copyright itself and another one on
levies? I will ask these questions next week when I meet with the copyright
unit that is being transferred to Mr. Oettinger’s DG.

























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